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Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 14 (July-2 2020) – 384 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) notion pioneered the implementation of various smart environments. With rapid resource shrinkage, energy management has recently become an essential concern for all smart environments. Although energy management emerged as a solution that addresses challenges that arise with increasing energy demand and resource deterioration, further evolution and expansion are hindered due to technological, economical, and social barriers. This review aggregates energy management approaches in smart environments and extensively reviews a variety of recent literature reports on peak load shaving and demand response. Significant benefits and challenges of these energy management strategies were identified through the literature survey. Finally, a critical discussion summarizing trends and opportunities is given as a thread for future research.View this paper
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Open AccessReview
External Costs in Inland Waterway Transport: An Analysis of External Cost Categories and Calculation Methods
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5874; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145874 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1031
Abstract
Sustainable transport, such as using inland waterway transport (IWT), represents a major pillar of the European Green Deal to reduce global warming. To evaluate the different inland transport modes (road, rail, IWT), it is crucial to know the external costs of these modes. [...] Read more.
Sustainable transport, such as using inland waterway transport (IWT), represents a major pillar of the European Green Deal to reduce global warming. To evaluate the different inland transport modes (road, rail, IWT), it is crucial to know the external costs of these modes. The goal of this paper is a critical review of external cost categories (e.g., accidents, noise, emissions) and external cost calculation methods of IWT to provide ideas for future research. We identified 13 relevant papers in a literature review dealing with external costs of IWT. In a meta-analysis, the papers were assigned to the seven external cost categories: accident, noise, congestion, habitat damage, air pollution, climate change and well-to-tank emissions. The most investigated external cost categories are climate change, air pollution and accidents. Two studies were identified as the major external cost calculation methods for IWT in the abstract. Our paper shows that the data basis of IWT is significantly lower than for road/rail. The measurement of energy consumption and related emissions of IWT needs to be qualitatively and quantitatively improved and brought up to the level of road traffic, to ensure an accurate comparison with other modes of transport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Mobility: Social, Technological and Environmental Issues)
Open AccessReview
A Review of the Measurement Method, Analysis and Implementation Policy of Carbon Dioxide Emission from Transportation
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5873; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145873 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 845
Abstract
This paper presents a review of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from transportation in an attempt to establish a quick and suboptimal update of the methods used to calculate and analyze CO2 emissions from transportation. Transportation is the largest contributor to [...] Read more.
This paper presents a review of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from transportation in an attempt to establish a quick and suboptimal update of the methods used to calculate and analyze CO2 emissions from transportation. Transportation is the largest contributor to air pollution through the release of high amounts of CO2 gas into the atmosphere. The methods for calculating and analyzing the carbon footprint of transportation; which is of critical importance in the management of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming; are still being developed. However; there are some differences in the definitions and methods used to calculate the carbon footprint of transportation in previous studies. This review focuses on the similarities of the methods used to measure CO2 emissions as well as the analyses used to evaluate the emissions. This paper will also highlight the advantages and limitations of each research work. By doing this; the present study contributes to the selection of appropriate methods for calculating CO2 emissions from transportation and draws attention to environmental issues. It is hoped that the implementation of the most appropriate framework will help to reduce CO2 emissions from transportation Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainability in Higher Education: The Relationship between Work-Life Balance and XR E-Learning Facilities
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5872; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145872 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1415
Abstract
Nowadays, collaborative learning is proving to offer solutions to new inclusivity research challenges, and most importantly, can help ensure sustainable education. Collaborative learning can strengthen positive attitudes towards learning, improve performance in academic results, and enhance self-esteem, by promoting interaction and mutual support [...] Read more.
Nowadays, collaborative learning is proving to offer solutions to new inclusivity research challenges, and most importantly, can help ensure sustainable education. Collaborative learning can strengthen positive attitudes towards learning, improve performance in academic results, and enhance self-esteem, by promoting interaction and mutual support among young people. Extended reality (XR), associated with collaborative learning, offers a further advantage by facilitating deep comprehensive learning. An online survey was conducted to investigate respondents’ views on the impact and influence of virtual technologies on work, study, and social life. Respondents (n = 1032) were recruited from Serbia, Romania, and Hungary, from five public and private universities. The study reveals students’ perceptions of e-learning and XR immersion. The data were analyzed by using a combination of descriptive techniques from PSPP (GNU open source SPSS—Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, Free Software Foundation, Boston, MA, USA), and by designing a regression model to evaluate the work-life balance. This regression model shows that the work-life balance is positively influenced by the inclusion of XR facilities in the e-learning process, along with an increased level of culture and living standard. The higher living standard of a student is associated with higher digital competence and more financial resources available to invest in technology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Control of Metro Train-Induced Vibrations in a Laboratory Using Periodic Piles
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5871; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145871 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 627
Abstract
Laboratories with sensitive instruments need a low-vibration environment. It is a challenge to control the train-induced vibration impact on these instruments when a newly planned metro line is adjacent to a laboratory building. An alternative method of mitigating train-induced ground vibrations involves installing [...] Read more.
Laboratories with sensitive instruments need a low-vibration environment. It is a challenge to control the train-induced vibration impact on these instruments when a newly planned metro line is adjacent to a laboratory building. An alternative method of mitigating train-induced ground vibrations involves installing measures along the transmission path. Recent research has highlighted the potential of periodic pile barriers with specifically designed band gaps for controlling environmental vibrations. This study performed in-situ measurements of ambient vibrations inside and outside a laboratory containing various types of sensitive instruments and located adjacent to a newly designed metro line. The vibration transfer function of the laboratory was then obtained. To help design and optimize the band gaps of periodic piles, a novel band gap performance evaluation function was proposed. Finally, numerical analysis was conducted to validate the mitigation effect of the designed periodic piles. The results showed that the band gap performance evaluation function can be used to optimize the mitigation effect of periodic piles. The proposed periodic piles clearly attenuated vibrations between 52.4 and 74.3 Hz, especially those at 63 Hz. A comparison of general vibration criteria (VC) curves revealed that vibration attenuation of one level can be obtained by the designed periodic piles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Economic Viability of an Animal Byproduct Rendering Plant: Case Study of a Slaughterhouse in Greece
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5870; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145870 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 666
Abstract
Continuous human population growth has led to increased livestock production and hence large quantities of animal byproducts. One of the oldest and most efficient animal byproducts processing techniques is rendering, which facilitates the recovery of resources in the form of fat and protein [...] Read more.
Continuous human population growth has led to increased livestock production and hence large quantities of animal byproducts. One of the oldest and most efficient animal byproducts processing techniques is rendering, which facilitates the recovery of resources in the form of fat and protein flour. The purpose of this study is to provide data for the feasibility of rendering as a treatment method. The case of a Greek slaughterhouse is presented, regarding its animal byproduct treatment process through rendering and incineration. Three different waste management scenarios are compared, with rendering proving to have a lower operational cost (€51.80/ton) compared to incineration (€74.10/ton), and rendering followed by incineration (€72.13/ton). The rendering process is then compared with other established animal byproduct treatment methods like composting and anaerobic digestion through the analytic hierarchy process, in terms of environmental, economic, and technological efficiency, with rendering (having a final score of 72%) proving once again superior compared to composting (with a score of 54%), and anaerobic digestion (with a score of 55%). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Globalization, Country Risks, and Trade in Tourism Services: Evidence from China
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5869; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145869 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 929
Abstract
This study applies the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model to examine the impacts of globalization and country risks on China’s tourism service trade over the period 1984–2015. The results reveal that in the long run, globalization has a significant negative impact on tourism [...] Read more.
This study applies the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model to examine the impacts of globalization and country risks on China’s tourism service trade over the period 1984–2015. The results reveal that in the long run, globalization has a significant negative impact on tourism service exports and tourism service trade balances, while a significant positive impact on tourism service imports. In the short run, globalization has a significant negative impact on tourism service imports, while a significant positive impact on tourism service exports and trade balances. Country stability could roughly mitigate these negative and positive impacts of globalization on tourism service trade in both the short and long run. Moreover, the speed of adjustment from the short run to long run equilibrium path is relatively fast. These results are important for China’s policy makers when formulating a strategy for the development of tourism service trade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism, Economic Growth and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Composition and Efficacy of a Natural Phytotherapeutic Blend against Nosemosis in Honey Bees
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5868; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145868 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 701
Abstract
Honey bees are essential to sustaining ecosystems, contributing to the stability of biodiversity through pollination. Today, it is known that the failure of pollination leads irremediably to the loss of plant cultures and, as a consequence, inducing food security issues. Bees can be [...] Read more.
Honey bees are essential to sustaining ecosystems, contributing to the stability of biodiversity through pollination. Today, it is known that the failure of pollination leads irremediably to the loss of plant cultures and, as a consequence, inducing food security issues. Bees can be affected by various factors, one of these being Nosema spp. which are protozoans specifically affecting adult honey bees and a threat to bee populations around the world. The composition of the phytotherapeutic product (Protofil®) for treating nosemosis was analyzed from a biochemical point of view. The most concentrated soluble parts in the phytotherapeutic association were the flavonoids, most frequently rutin, but quercetin was also detected. Additionally, the main volatile compounds identified were eucalyptol (1.8-cineol) and chavicol-methyl-ether. To evaluate the samples’ similarity–dissimilarity, the PCA multivariate statistical analysis, of the gas-chromatographic data (centered relative percentages of the volatile compounds), was applied. Statistical analysis revealed a significant similarity of Protofil® with the Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) samples and more limited with Thymus vulgaris (Thyme) and Ocimum basilicum (Basil), and, respectively, a meaningful dissimilarity with Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion). The results have shown a high and beneficial active compounds concentration in the analyzed herbs. High similarity with investigated product recommending the Protofil®, as the treatment compatible with producing organic honey. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Organic Agriculture for Developing Agribusiness Sector)
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Open AccessArticle
Protect Me from What I Want: Understanding Excessive Polluting Behavior and the Willingness to Act
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5867; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145867 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 943
Abstract
Many environmental problems stem from unsustainable human consumption. Accordingly, many studies have focused on the barriers to pro-environmental behavior. The inability or unwillingness to act is partially related to personal values as well as the psychological distance between individual actions and the resulting [...] Read more.
Many environmental problems stem from unsustainable human consumption. Accordingly, many studies have focused on the barriers to pro-environmental behavior. The inability or unwillingness to act is partially related to personal values as well as the psychological distance between individual actions and the resulting pollution, which is often perceived as abstract or intangible. In contrast, fireworks produce imminent, undeniable air pollution. The goal of this research was to advance the knowledge on the awareness-value-behavior gap by studying public fireworks consumption and the willingness to act against firework pollution. A nationally representative survey was conducted after the extremely polluting 2017/18 New Year’s Eve in Iceland (European hourly record in fine particulate matter: 3014 µg/m3). Our results demonstrate that, after controlling for the awareness of harmful pollution, hedonic motives predict the purchasing of fireworks and the opposition to mitigating action. Noticing public warnings regarding fireworks pollution did not significantly relate to the purchase behavior. The awareness of the harmful effects of firework pollution was, however, the largest predictor of the support for mitigating action. Despite reporting the pleasure derived from fireworks, 57% of the sample favored stricter governmental regulation, and 27% favored banning the public use of fireworks in order to “protect them from what they want”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Examining Fractional Vegetation Cover Dynamics in Response to Climate from 1982 to 2015 in the Amur River Basin for SDG 13
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5866; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145866 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 681
Abstract
The impacts of climate and the need to improve resilience to current and possible future climate are highlighted in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13. Vegetation in the Amur River Basin (ARB), lying in the middle and high latitudes and being one [...] Read more.
The impacts of climate and the need to improve resilience to current and possible future climate are highlighted in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13. Vegetation in the Amur River Basin (ARB), lying in the middle and high latitudes and being one of the 10 largest basins worldwide, plays an important role in the regional carbon cycle but is vulnerable to climate change. Based on GIMMS NDVI3g and CRU TS4.01 climate data, this study investigated the spatiotemporal patterns of fractional vegetation cover (FVC) in the ARB and their relationships with climatic changes from 1982 to 2015 varying over different seasons, vegetation types, geographical gradients, and countries. The results reveal that the FVC presented significant increasing trends (P < 0.05) in growing season (May to September) and autumn (September to October), but insignificant increasing trends in spring (April to May) and summer (June to August), with the largest annual FVC increase occurring in autumn. However, some areas showed significant decreases of FVC in growing season, mainly located on the China side of the ARB, such as the Changbai mountainous area, the Sanjiang plain, and the Lesser Khingan mountainous area. The FVC changes and their relationships varied among different vegetation types in various seasons. Specifically, grassland FVC experienced the largest increase in growing season, spring, and summer, while woodland FVC changed more dramatically in autumn. FVC correlated positively with air temperature in spring, especially for grassland, and correlated negatively with precipitation, especially for woodland. The correlations between FVC and climatic factors in growing season were zonal in latitude and longitude, while 120° E and 50° N were the approximate boundaries at which the values of mean correlation coefficients changed from positive to negative, respectively. These findings are beneficial to a better understanding the responses of vegetation in the middle and high latitudes to climate change and could provide fundamental information for sustainable ecosystem management in the ARB and the northern hemisphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Ecological Prototypes: Initiating Design Innovation in Green Construction
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5865; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145865 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 906
Abstract
This article identifies a gap in the approaches to Green Construction (GC), and initiates a line of research in the area of the so-called “ecological prototypes”. Ecological prototypes, stands for a new type of GC, which are integrated and adaptive systems of design, [...] Read more.
This article identifies a gap in the approaches to Green Construction (GC), and initiates a line of research in the area of the so-called “ecological prototypes”. Ecological prototypes, stands for a new type of GC, which are integrated and adaptive systems of design, construction and practices that link architecture, horticulture and agriculture, landscape and ecology. This type of system greatly expands the existing GC design space with the aim to tackle environmental challenges in the context of rapid urbanization. This new type of GC seeks to reconcile the different environmental needs and goals, and balance intensification and restoration trade-offs. They are considered as a key strategy for supporting ecosystems and the delivery of ecosystem services, especially in degraded peri-urban and urban contexts. This effort commences with a review of selected historical cases that have evolved over time as vital part of horticultural and agricultural systems. These historical studies can both inform future research on the development of ecological prototypes and aid their design. Following the examination of selected cases and a field survey, the role of information modelling and data-driven computational methods in designing ecological prototypes is discussed. The decision support system for this new type of GC based on information and knowledge modelling (computational ontologies) is given a particular attention. Finally, further research questions and steps are outlined. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Temporal and Spatial Distribution of the Toxic Epiphytic Dinoflagellate Ostreopsis cf. ovata in the Coastal Waters off Jeju Island, Korea
by , , and
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5864; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145864 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 687
Abstract
The temporal and spatial distribution of the toxic epiphytic dinoflagellate Ostreopsis cf. ovata was investigated off the Jeju coastal waters, Korea, from July 2016 to January 2019. The results showed that the presence of Ostreopsis cf. ovata in 184 macroalgae was 79.3%, and [...] Read more.
The temporal and spatial distribution of the toxic epiphytic dinoflagellate Ostreopsis cf. ovata was investigated off the Jeju coastal waters, Korea, from July 2016 to January 2019. The results showed that the presence of Ostreopsis cf. ovata in 184 macroalgae was 79.3%, and it was more frequently attached to red algae and brown algae than to green algae. The abundance of Ostreopsis cf. ovata as determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reactions (qPCR) and microscopic analysis was 4–3204 cells g−1, and the maximum abundance observed in September 2018, when the water temperature was 24.4 °C. The abundance was higher in summer and autumn than in spring and winter. Spatially, high abundance was observed in autumn on the northern coast of Jeju Island and, in summer, in the southern and eastern coastal waters. The water temperature of Jeju coastal waters in winter remained higher than 15 °C, and this species could be overwintering in the Jeju waters. Therefore, further monitoring and research are needed to evaluate the proliferation of Ostreopsis cf. ovata, which contains a novel toxin with unidentified effects on humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Harmful Organisms and their Management for Sustainable Environment)
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Open AccessReview
COVID-19 Could Leverage a Sustainable Built Environment
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5863; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145863 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3566
Abstract
The health system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has involved research into diagnoses and vaccines, but primarily it has required specific treatments, facilities and equipment, together with the control of individual behaviour and a period of collective confinement. The aim of this particular [...] Read more.
The health system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has involved research into diagnoses and vaccines, but primarily it has required specific treatments, facilities and equipment, together with the control of individual behaviour and a period of collective confinement. The aim of this particular research, therefore, is to discover whether COVID-19 is capable of changing the built environment (BE) and leveraging specific solutions for sustainable buildings or urban areas. Some historical reviews of infectious pandemics have highlighted the development of new solutions in the BE as an additional contribution towards preventing the spread of infection. The BE has an important role to play in supporting public health measures and reducing the risk of infections. The review of potential COVID-19 measures shows the existence of well-referenced solutions, ranging from incremental alterations (organisation of spaces, erection of physical barriers) to structural alterations (windows, balconies) with different timeframes and scales (ranging from changes in building materials to the design of urban areas). A critical exploratory assessment makes it possible to identify measures that may help not only to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission (or even prevent it), but also to increase resilience, improve air quality and lower energy requirements or the use of materials, and thus potentially increase the sustainability of the BE. COVID-19 measures challenge us to rethink buildings and urban areas and potentially leverage sustainable BE solutions with win-win outcomes (minimalist design and other solutions). The specific composition of this set of measures must, however, be further researched. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Built Environment and Future Proof Innovations)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Participation: Empirical Analysis of Recipient and Beneficiary Engagement with IFAD International Development Projects
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5862; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145862 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 544
Abstract
Active participation of the recipient governments and the beneficiaries is an essential factor in carrying out international development projects. Despite ongoing theoretical discussion on the effects of participation by the recipient governments and the beneficiaries in international development projects, there has been relatively [...] Read more.
Active participation of the recipient governments and the beneficiaries is an essential factor in carrying out international development projects. Despite ongoing theoretical discussion on the effects of participation by the recipient governments and the beneficiaries in international development projects, there has been relatively little empirical analysis of the effects of their participation in development projects. To fill this gap, this study examines the relationship between the participation of the recipient governments and beneficiaries, and projects outcomes conducted by IFAD by validating two hypotheses. First, the higher financial contribution rate of the recipient governments results in lower evaluation results of international development projects. Second, the higher financial contribution rate of the beneficiaries leads to higher evaluation results of international development projects. In order to verify these two hypotheses, this study analyzed 166 of the IFAD Project Completion Report Validations. We did ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analyses for the panel data made from them. As a result of the analyses, the inverse relationship between the participation of the recipient governments and the outcome of the assessment holds true. On the other hand, the higher involvement of the beneficiaries leads to better results in the assessment. The results reaffirm prior research that suggested that the involvement of the recipient governments has a negative impact on project performance and that the participation of the beneficiaries has a positive impact on the projects performance. This study adopted ”financial contributions” as the variable to analyze the participation of the recipient governments and the beneficiaries; since it utilized IFAD data, the research focuses on the agriculture sector in terms of international development cooperation. The applicability of these findings in other areas of international development cooperation therefore to be tested in future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle
Inverse Malthusianism and Recycling Economics: The Case of the Textile Industry
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5861; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145861 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 716
Abstract
The current use of natural resources in the textile industry leads us to introduce a new economic concept called inverse Malthusianism describing a context in which population grows linearly and resource consumption grows exponentially. Inverse Malthusianism implies an exponential increase in environmental impact [...] Read more.
The current use of natural resources in the textile industry leads us to introduce a new economic concept called inverse Malthusianism describing a context in which population grows linearly and resource consumption grows exponentially. Inverse Malthusianism implies an exponential increase in environmental impact that recycling may contribute to reduce. Our main goal is to extend the analysis of materials selection under the principle of equimarginality proposed by Jevons. As a first result, we show the particular circumstances under which policies excluding recycled supplies are never optimal. We also aim to overcome the difficulties of reducing environmental aspects to monetary units. To this end, we propose a multicriteria approach to solve the conventional-recycled materials dilemma considering not only economic but also environmental criteria. Then, we allow producers to enrich their decision-making process with relevant information about the environmental impact of materials selection. Although we use examples of the textile industry to illustrate our results, most of the insights in this paper can be extended to other industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Criteria Decision Making for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Satisfaction with Life Scale Among Italian Workers: Reliability, Factor Structure and Validity through a Big Sample Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5860; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145860 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 672
Abstract
The study aims to assess the psychometric characteristics of the Satisfaction with Life Scale among 1074 participants from the working context. Analyzing Reliability, Factor Structure and concurrent validity, results indicated good values; besides results revealed a robust structure with one factor. On the [...] Read more.
The study aims to assess the psychometric characteristics of the Satisfaction with Life Scale among 1074 participants from the working context. Analyzing Reliability, Factor Structure and concurrent validity, results indicated good values; besides results revealed a robust structure with one factor. On the basis of these results, the SWLS is a valid instrument in relation to evaluate some cognitive aspects of life satisfaction also in the Italian work context. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Impact of Residential Urban Patterns of Different Hillslopes on Urban Drainage Systems and Ecosystem Services in the Federal District, Brazil
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5859; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145859 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 680
Abstract
In Brazil, stormwater management systems are usually deficient and very commonly implemented after the urban areas have settled. In Brasilia, the Federal capital of Brazil, this problem is aggravated due to the fact that the rainy and dry seasons are very well defined, [...] Read more.
In Brazil, stormwater management systems are usually deficient and very commonly implemented after the urban areas have settled. In Brasilia, the Federal capital of Brazil, this problem is aggravated due to the fact that the rainy and dry seasons are very well defined, thereby increasing the importance of groundwater recharge as an ecosystem service. This research aims to evaluate the impact of urban structure types and topographies in stormwater management and three ecosystem services: groundwater recharge, flooding, and water quality. The urban patterns studied included mixed residential areas with two block positions (orthogonal and parallel to the topography) and a single-family house with low density. The studied landforms include a divergent-convergent surface and a flat hillslope with high slope taxa—strictly convergent and strictly divergent surfaces, respectively. The arrangement of landforms has an impact on runoff generation, with an average of 9% during peak flow, and an infiltration capacity, on average, 3% higher in the divergent-convergent surface. The greatest impact of the topography on stormwater management is considered based on the direct cost of the drainage system, which is 44% higher in the flat hillslope. Low impact development (LIDs) devices helped to improve ecosystem service provisions and even presented efficiency that almost achieved that of the predevelopment conditions in the evaluated scenarios. Seeking the urban patterns that best suit given environmental conditions is one of the approaches studied in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessConcept Paper
Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic Exposing the Shortcomings of Current Supply Chain Operations: A Long-Term Prescriptive Offering
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5858; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145858 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5116
Abstract
COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory virus that has posed a great threat to the general public. In order to prevent its spread, many governments have enacted stringent measures. Supply chains around the world are facing major disruptions and difficulties adjusting to the [...] Read more.
COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory virus that has posed a great threat to the general public. In order to prevent its spread, many governments have enacted stringent measures. Supply chains around the world are facing major disruptions and difficulties adjusting to the new demands and needs of a locked down world. In this paper, we will address the relationship between supply chain operations and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Given current global shortages in essential goods such as medication, we explore the connection between said shortage and supply chain issues, such as the lack of supply chain transparency and resilience, as well as unsustainable just-in-time manufacturing. To mitigate the effects of these issues and protect supply chain operations, we propose some recommendations, such as nationalizing the medical supply chains, adopting a plus one diversification approach, and increasing safety stock. These recommendations are given to not only mitigate current consequences in relation to the ongoing crisis, but also to suggest measures that will provide firms the resiliency needed to weather similar potential shortages in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating the Energy Potential of Solar PV Located on Mining Properties in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5857; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145857 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 615
Abstract
The lauded Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP) has achieved much in stimulating private sector investment in the renewable energy market in South Africa. Yet, 95% of electricity generated is still from a single source, the state-owned utility Eskom. This paper [...] Read more.
The lauded Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP) has achieved much in stimulating private sector investment in the renewable energy market in South Africa. Yet, 95% of electricity generated is still from a single source, the state-owned utility Eskom. This paper set out to explore the policy sphere governing electricity generation and identifying possible avenues that can contribute to a more vibrant solar energy market in the most solar abundant province of South Africa, the Northern Cape Province. Licensed mines were identified as low hanging fruit due to a large policy overlap and leeway within existing mining policy. A solar audit of these areas was performed, based on accepted multi-criteria decision analysis techniques, and found that a potential 369 TWh to 679 TWh per annum can be generated, exceeding South Africa’s current electricity usage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Disclosure Frequency, Information Environment, and Cost of Capital under Regulation Fair Disclosure in the Korean Market
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5856; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145856 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 573
Abstract
Disclosure policy contributes to improve sustainable corporate information environment by mitigating information asymmetry surrounding companies. Economic theories generally support that more disclosures reduce the level of information asymmetry, increase stock liquidity, and thus decrease the costs of equity capital. However, the effect of [...] Read more.
Disclosure policy contributes to improve sustainable corporate information environment by mitigating information asymmetry surrounding companies. Economic theories generally support that more disclosures reduce the level of information asymmetry, increase stock liquidity, and thus decrease the costs of equity capital. However, the effect of corporate disclosure in emerging markets is not clearly predictable because of the potential information leakage prior to disclosure. Considering this issue, this study focuses on the Regulation Fair Disclosure which prohibits selective disclosure. Using the earnings-to-price ratio as a proxy of the costs of equity, the study finds that disclosure frequency is negatively related to the cost of equity capital. However, I do not find evidence that disclosure is negatively related to the implied costs of equity capital (ICOE). The results of the quintile analysis suggest that this inconsistency is attributable to the better information environment of the ICOE sample. The findings of this study have implications for disclosure regulations in emerging markets, given that the existing literature casts doubt on the effectiveness of corporate disclosure in such markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Corporate Governance, Strategy, and Risk Management)
Open AccessArticle
Mechanisms Implemented for the Sustainable Development of Agriculture: An Overview of Cabo Verde Performance
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5855; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145855 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1076
Abstract
In 2005, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) adopted the Common Agricultural Policy of ECOWAS (ECOWAP), as an instrument for implementing the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). The main goals of ECOWAP/CAADP were set to promote agriculture development and end [...] Read more.
In 2005, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) adopted the Common Agricultural Policy of ECOWAS (ECOWAP), as an instrument for implementing the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). The main goals of ECOWAP/CAADP were set to promote agriculture development and end hunger by 2025. In this study we focused on the Cabo Verde archipelago as one of the best performing countries within ECOWAS in terms of overall sustainable development. In this paper, the evolution of the ECOWAP implementation and of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) associated with agriculture in Cabo Verde, were assessed by semi-quantitative (e.g., agricultural policies, agrarian periodical literature) and quantitative (modeling regression of ECOWAP implementation and Sustainable Development Goals—SDGs—performance) analyses. Our integrated results suggest that the agriculture development strategies, the signature of ECOWAP/CAADP by the national government, and political stability might explain the progress made towards poverty reduction and the improvement of food security. The results also show that agriculture-related SDGs in Cabo Verde are higher than the mean values obtained from the remaining West African countries, well above the top 25% WA countries. Nevertheless, Cabo Verde public expenditure into agriculture under the ECOWAP was generally below the targeted 10% of the national budget, with food import required to meet internal food demands. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Method of Choice: A Fluorescent Penetrant Taking into Account Sustainability Criteria
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5854; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145854 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 672
Abstract
To conduct, in an effective way, the non-destructive testing (NDT) of products—in particular, the fluorescent penetrant inspection (FPI)—remains a challenge. Therefore, the aim of this work is to propose the method of support in the choice of a fluorescent penetrant to be used [...] Read more.
To conduct, in an effective way, the non-destructive testing (NDT) of products—in particular, the fluorescent penetrant inspection (FPI)—remains a challenge. Therefore, the aim of this work is to propose the method of support in the choice of a fluorescent penetrant to be used in FPI research. In the results of the usage of the proposed procedure, it is demonstrated that it is possible to reduce the negative impacts on the environment by FPI processes (through sustainability), while including other criteria, i.e., financial, security, productive (Industry 4.0), and societal (Society 5.0) criteria. The essence of the proposed method is to integrate two methods of decision support. These were the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method and the cost–quality analysis (AKJ). Using the AHP method, the quality level of fluorescent penetrant (to the satisfaction of the customer)—which included the sustainability criteria—are calculated. These criteria include natural environment, reactivity, combustibility, level of sensitivity, and type of washing (emulsification). Then, with the help of the AKJ, the most favorable penetrant—in terms of quality and cost—is calculated and, thus, indicated. This choice must include the concept of sustainable development. Therefore, this method can be used to choose fluorescent penetrants in manufacturing and service enterprises which carry out FPI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Society 5.0 and Industry 4.0 Relations and Implications)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Polyphenol Components and Antioxidant Activity during Fermented Assam Tea Ball Processing
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5853; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145853 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 603
Abstract
Fermented tea is traditionally consumed in many Asian countries. In Thailand, the product is made by anaerobic submerged fermentation of semi-mature tea leaves before being made into a ball form. This study aims to investigate the composition of health-associated bioactive compounds in fermented [...] Read more.
Fermented tea is traditionally consumed in many Asian countries. In Thailand, the product is made by anaerobic submerged fermentation of semi-mature tea leaves before being made into a ball form. This study aims to investigate the composition of health-associated bioactive compounds in fermented tea balls made from Camellia sinensis var. assamica, which is naturally grown in the forests of northern Thailand. The processing involves steaming semi-mature tea leaves followed by anaerobic fermentation in 2% NaCl solution (1:5 w/v of tea leaves solution). Levels of catechin (C), epicatechin (EC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), gallocatechin (GC), flavonols (myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol), phenolic acids (caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, coumaric acid, and sinapic acid), total phenolic content, and in vitro antioxidant activity were evaluated in fresh tea leaves, steamed tea leaves, and fermented tea leaves over a period of 60 days’ monitoring. The results indicated that fermented tea balls still contain significant amounts of tea polyphenols, although their processing may result in some loss of most bioactive compounds. The antioxidant activity measured by Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP), 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), and Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) assays also declined as the fermentation time was extended. However, phenolic acids, including caffeic acid and sinapic acid, contrastingly increased during prolonged fermentation by 74.35% and 171.43% from fresh leaves, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mechanical Characteristics of Soda Residue Soil Incorporating Different Admixture: Reuse of Soda Residue
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5852; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145852 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 533
Abstract
Soda residue (SR), a waste by-product of sodium carbonate production, occupies land resources and pollutes the environment seriously. To promote the resource reusing of waste SR, this paper studies the feasibility of utilizing SR for the preparation of soda residue soil (SRS) through [...] Read more.
Soda residue (SR), a waste by-product of sodium carbonate production, occupies land resources and pollutes the environment seriously. To promote the resource reusing of waste SR, this paper studies the feasibility of utilizing SR for the preparation of soda residue soil (SRS) through laboratory and field tests. The SR and fly ash (FA) were mixed with six different proportions (SR:FA is 1:0, 10:1, 8:1, 6:1, 3:1, 1:1) to prepare SRS, and the optimum water content, maximum dry density, shear strength, and unconfined compression strength of the SRS were measured. The representative SRS (SR:FA is 10:1) was selected to investigate the compression performance and collapsibility. The preparation and filling method of SRS in the field was proposed, and the effects of gravel, sand, and lime on the mechanical properties of SRS were studied through field tests. The results show that the addition of FA contributed to the strength development of SR, and the addition of lime, sand and rubble have a significant effect on the subgrade bearing capacity of SRS. The subgrade bearing capacity and deformation modulus of SRS in field tests is more than 210 kPa and 34.48 MPa, respectively. The results provide experimental basis and reference for the preparation of SRS, the scientific application of SRS in geotechnical engineering to promote sustainable development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Trends in Agricultural Land in EU Countries of the Baltic Sea Region from the Perspective of Resilience and Food Security
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5851; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145851 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 1194
Abstract
Agricultural land is crucial for the production of food and is, thereby, directly connected to food security. Agriculture is threatened by a multitude of hazards, such as climate change, peak oil, peak soil and peak phosphorus. These hazards call for a more resilient [...] Read more.
Agricultural land is crucial for the production of food and is, thereby, directly connected to food security. Agriculture is threatened by a multitude of hazards, such as climate change, peak oil, peak soil and peak phosphorus. These hazards call for a more resilient food system that can deliver food security for the global population in the future. In this paper, we analyse the Baltic Sea region’s ten European Union (EU) member states, investigating which trends are to be found in statistics between 2005 to 2016 on the development of agricultural land. In our paper, we analyse these trends of agricultural land by looking at three categories of data: (1) utilised agricultural area, (2) number of farms and (3) agricultural labour input. The results showed a trend that agricultural land is increasingly dominated by large farms, whilst over 1 million predominantly small farms have disappeared, and agricultural-labour input has dropped by more than 26%. These trends point towards a mechanisation of production, where larger and less labour-intensive farms take over production. This could partly be due to the EU common agricultural policy, which tends to favour large farms over small. Further, we argue for the importance of farm-size diversity, and about the dangers to food security that a system that is dominated by large farms possesses. Lastly, we conclude that the concept of resilience needs to be better included in policy development and food-system planning, and that more research needs to be done, analysing how existing agricultural policies impact the parameters studied in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Rural Areas and Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
An Economic Analysis of Tropical Forest Resource Conservation in a Protected Area
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5850; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145850 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 547
Abstract
In this paper, we develop a reduced form model for factors influencing the conservation of forest resources. We then estimate it using a bivariate negative binomial regression model with cases of illegal farming and illegal cattle grazing in the W Reserve in West [...] Read more.
In this paper, we develop a reduced form model for factors influencing the conservation of forest resources. We then estimate it using a bivariate negative binomial regression model with cases of illegal farming and illegal cattle grazing in the W Reserve in West Africa. Our results show that population size and farm area in the periphery of the W Reserve are associated with an increase of 2.4% and 7.1% of the illegal farming, respectively. On the other hand, income level, the existence of a checkpoint, and the distance between the villages and the reserve decrease the illegal grazing activities by 7.3%, 63.2%, and 2.3%, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Restrictions of Historical Tissues on Urban Growth, Self-Sustaining Agglomeration in Walled Cities of Chinese Origin
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5849; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145849 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 565
Abstract
This article uses a fractal observation to help delineate the constraints placed by multiple city walls on the growth of historical East Asian cities. By applying advanced technologies from economic geography and fractal indices, a staged scaling process within urban dimension coherence can [...] Read more.
This article uses a fractal observation to help delineate the constraints placed by multiple city walls on the growth of historical East Asian cities. By applying advanced technologies from economic geography and fractal indices, a staged scaling process within urban dimension coherence can be applied to both indices. In this study, a discovery is proposed based on the urban organism concept that is capable of indicating a proportional intra-urban structure from a fundamental wall-bounded urban element (local specificity) to other greater walled spatial properties (global variables). This local specificity potentially performs approximate scaling regularities, and spatially denotes an average historical threshold of urban growth for its overall size, with similar scaling law constraints. This finding involves territorial, urban planning, and ancient architectural perspectives, providing a historical and local response to the expansion of contemporary cities. By employing growing fractal estimation, data processing enables the logarithmic city size to be obtained by measuring each wall’s specific features using the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) method. On the basis of two-dimensional allometric scaling patches, a spatial unfolding mechanism is utilized to reproduce these dynamic changes with city walls as a result of the human trajectories in time geography. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Growth and Demographic Dynamics)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancing Historic Building Performance with the Use of Fuzzy Inference System to Control the Electric Cooling System
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5848; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145848 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 823
Abstract
In recent years, the interest in properly conditioning the indoor environment of historic buildings has increased significantly. However, maintaining a suitable environment for building and artwork preservation while keeping comfortable conditions for occupants is a very challenging and multi-layered job that might require [...] Read more.
In recent years, the interest in properly conditioning the indoor environment of historic buildings has increased significantly. However, maintaining a suitable environment for building and artwork preservation while keeping comfortable conditions for occupants is a very challenging and multi-layered job that might require a considerable increase in energy consumption. Most historic structures use traditional on/off heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system controllers with predetermined setpoints. However, these controllers neglect the building sensitivity to occupancy and relative humidity changes. Thus, sophisticated controllers are needed to enhance historic building performance to reduce electric energy consumption and increase sustainability while maintaining the building historic values. This study presents an electric cooling air controller based on a fuzzy inference system (FIS) model to, simultaneously, control air temperature and relative humidity, taking into account building occupancy patterns. The FIS numerically expresses variables via predetermined fuzzy sets and their correlation via 27 fuzzy rules. This intelligent model is compared to the typical thermostat on/off baseline control to evaluate conditions of cooling supply during cooling season. The comparative analysis shows a FIS controller enhancing building performance by improving thermal comfort and optimizing indoor environmental conditions for building and artwork preservation, while reducing the HVAC operation time by 5.7%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Electric Power Systems and Smart Grids)
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Open AccessArticle
Workforce Localization in the Arab Gulf Countries: How Do Organizations Socialize the Members of a Powerful Minority?
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5847; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145847 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 818
Abstract
This paper addresses a key social–cultural aspect of sustainability in the Gulf region: Workforce localization (WL). Our research objective is to empirically explore organizational socialization (OS) practices in the context of WL in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where National Citizens (NCs) are [...] Read more.
This paper addresses a key social–cultural aspect of sustainability in the Gulf region: Workforce localization (WL). Our research objective is to empirically explore organizational socialization (OS) practices in the context of WL in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where National Citizens (NCs) are a powerful minority in the workforce. This research adopts a qualitative methodology, using semi-structured interviews with managers in charge of the WL program in 14 organizations in the UAE, across different industrial sectors and ownership. We found five major OS practices: Establishing thorough orientation programs, providing formal training programs (skills, diversity/cultural awareness, supervisor, mentoring and coaching team building), redesigning NCs’ jobs and work teams, engaging expatriates in NCs’ OS processes, and organizing networking events. All organizations rigorously evaluated the effectiveness of their OS practices. This study contributes to the empirical literature on management OS, WL, and diversity management in a non-western, emerging Arab country. It contributes to theory development on the content of OS practices, showing how a minority can be a powerful group around whom socialization processes are tailored to integrate them fully into the organization. Practically, our findings inform managers of how to adapt their existing OS practices to the specific needs of minority members, and support Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-based organizations and policymakers with the design, monitoring, and implementation of WL programs, and with the development of a sustainable workforce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Information Sources and Constraints to Climate Change Adaptation amongst Smallholder Farmers in Amathole District Municipality, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5846; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145846 - 21 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 814
Abstract
With current global climate change conditions, the urgency to provide agricultural knowledge on adaptation has risen. The dearth of climate change information is one amongst many agricultural production challenges faced by the majority of rural farming communities. This study aimed to identify smallholder [...] Read more.
With current global climate change conditions, the urgency to provide agricultural knowledge on adaptation has risen. The dearth of climate change information is one amongst many agricultural production challenges faced by the majority of rural farming communities. This study aimed to identify smallholder farmers’ sources of climate change information and constraints to their coping and adaptation. Descriptive statistical tools, mean scores and the ‘problem confrontation index’ (PCI) were used to assess and describe the study’s findings. Analysis revealed that public extension services play a minute role in rural farmers’ climate change knowledge; they get their information elsewhere. The most critical constraint to climate change coping and adaptation in the study area was lack of access to agricultural extension services. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Making Way for Trees? Changes in Land-Use, Habitats and Protected Areas in Great Britain under “Global Tree Restoration Potential”
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5845; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145845 - 21 Jul 2020
Viewed by 1005
Abstract
Numerous tree planting initiatives have been launched worldwide, based on the idea that carbon capture by trees can help to limit global warming. A recent study estimated the additional tree canopy cover that could be established given the growing conditions in every square [...] Read more.
Numerous tree planting initiatives have been launched worldwide, based on the idea that carbon capture by trees can help to limit global warming. A recent study estimated the additional tree canopy cover that could be established given the growing conditions in every square kilometre of land on earth that is not already forested, urbanised, or used for crop production. It reported a total “tree restoration potential” of >900 million ha worldwide and identified hotspots where opportunities for tree planting initiatives may be the greatest. With the potential for an estimated 4.2 million ha of additional canopy cover, one such hotspot is Great Britain. We quantify the extent of habitats, land uses, and protected areas that would be impacted by tree planting on this scale in Great Britain and discuss the potential social–ecological trade-offs involved. Our findings show that realising the “tree restoration potential” would mean a considerable upheaval for the British landscape with 30–50% of ecologically valuable habitats lost and a reduction of 44% in the area of improved grassland. Up to 21% of land protected by law for its ecological, scientific, scenic, or cultural value would be impacted. Importantly, we demonstrate that an alternative approach based on increasing tree canopy cover by up to 20% in urban areas and on cropland could make a substantial contribution to tree planting targets, potentially offsetting losses elsewhere. Such shifts in the structure and function of the British landscape will depend on deep changes in the food system, evidence-based decisions about which existing habitats to protect, and a long-term commitment to tree planting and maintenance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroforestry and Ecosystem Regeneration)
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